Prof. Sandagonmi Coperahewa

“When you talk about a National symbol, be it a flower, animal or flag there can only be one of them,” opined Prof. Sandagomi Coperahewa, Head of Department of Sinhala, University of Colombo.

“Hence, there can’t be two or three national symbols. There may be two official languages, but the national anthem is one symbol and should carry the national significance of a country. If it is sung in another language there has to be a Constitutional Amendment as well,” opined Coperahewa.
He further said that even in countries that have more than one language there is only one National Anthem. “Take India for example, it has Hindi and English as official languages but its National Anthem is highly Sanskritised Bengali. It’s not even Hindi, but all Indians sing it. In Singapore there are Tamil, English, Malay and Chinese people, but their National Anthem is sung in Malay. Translations could be there for the purpose of understanding or interpreting, but everybody should sing it in one language,” said Coperahewa.

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